The Other Inmate

A certain man called Bernhardt was sentenced to twenty years in prison for crimes against others and the state. Defiant at first, he cursed the prosecution for tarnishing his character, the jury for believing them, his defense attorney for failing to prove innocence, and the judge for taking away his freedom.

The same day he entered prison, another man was confined to the same cell. He introduced himself simply as Joshua. Otherwise, he seemed unusually closemouthed about his background, his family, and even what he had done to earn incarceration.

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Meeting the Man from the Hill

About 600 years before the birth of Christ, an angel showed a young man named Nephi a vision. By way of introduction, he asked Nephi if he understood what the condescension of God meant, and Nephi admitted that he didn’t (1 Nephi 11:16–17). In response, the angel declared, “Look and behold the condescension of God!” (v. 26) and showed him the ministry of Jesus, beginning with his submission to baptism at the hands of John the Baptist.

Often, the word condescend has a negative connotation; I think of it as someone talking down to me or being patronizing in their treatment of me. The other person thinks he or she is on loftier standing. But the phrase “the condescension of God” means much more and is much more positive.

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